2013 Northern Illinois Spring Analysis
Northern Illinois Huskies 2013 ...
Head Coach: Dave Doeren
Why To Be Excited ... Dave Doeren was a terrific head coach, and it might be a new year with a new team, but almost the entire offense is back only losing receiver Perez Ashford and tight end Jason Scepler. The entire offensive line returns, Akeem Daniels and the running backs are back, and, of course, quarterback Jordan Lynch is going to be on all the preseason Heisman lists. New head coach Rod Carey is inheriting a heater that should average around 40 points per game without much of a problem.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 at Iowa
9/7 OPEN DATE
9/14 at Idaho
9/21 Eastern Illinois
9/28 at Purdue
10/5 at Kent State
10/19 at Central Michigan
10/26 Eastern Michigan
11/2 at UMass
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/13 Ball State
11/20 at Toledo
11/26 Western Michigan
Why To Be Grouchy ... The defense has to come up with some huge replacements. The Huskies were first in the MAC in tackles for loss and solid against the run and great against the deep ball, but they have to replace Sean Progar, Alan Baxter and most of the defensive front. Corner Rashaan Melvin and safety Demetrius Stone are gone in the secondary, and linebackers Victor Jacques and Tyrone Clark will be missed. There’s talent waiting in the wings, but it might take a little while for it all to come together.
What Needs Working On ...
The pass defense is going to have to tight up against the stronger teams. Florida State’s E.J. Manuel took target practice in the Orange Bowl, and Toledo, Central Michigan, Ball State and Western Michigan had few problems pushing the ball deep. The overall numbers weren’t bad, but it helped to have Army, UMass, Eastern Michigan, Kansas and other passing-challenged teams to deal with. With so much defensive turnover, it might take a little while to tighten up with Iowa and Purdue up in September.
Non-Conference Games: at Iowa, at Idaho, Eastern Illinois, at Purdue
Games Against The East: Akron, at Kent State, at UMass
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 9-3
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: at Idaho, Eastern Illinois, at Kent State, Akron, at Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, at UMass, Ball State, Western Michigan
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Iowa, at Purdue, at Toledo
Schedule Analysis: Can NIU start out hot with a win at Iowa? Four of the first five and five of the first seven games are on the road, including a showdown at Purdue and a MAC championship rematch against Kent State, but it should be smooth sailing over the second half of the season with Akron, Eastern Michigan and UMass likely wins before closing out with key showdowns against Ball State, Toledo and Western Michigan. The time off comes before going to Idaho and facing BSU, but Toledo and WMU come within six days of each other.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Huskies have work to do on defense after losing seven starters including three up front. The run defense is going to need a little bit of help, and replacing linebackers Tyrone Clark and Victor Jacques will be a problem. The punt return game needs a little more production from Angelo Sebastiano, but it wasn't that bad. The same goes for a passing game that was efficient, but didn't come up with too many big yards. When Jordan Lynch can run the ball like he does, the passing game takes a backseat.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running backs. The Huskies are loading up on receivers with Mycial Allen and Blake Holder two good-sized targets to develop. Corner Brandon Mayes was a decent get, and William Lee is a good-sized tackle out of Indianapolis, but it's the running back corps that's getting the most talent with Kendall Short a big runner out of Kansas and Draco Smith a darting speedster to add more flash.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 100. That Class Was Heavy On ... This year is about the lines; next year will take care of the skill players. Dave Doeren came up with a MAC title in his first season and now he’s pulling in a decent class, but not a great one. The quarterback situation is being addressed for the future and the always great Huskie offensive line is getting more prospects. Defensively, the stars are in the linebacking corps that should pay off relatively soon.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 94. That Class Was Heavy On ... 2012. New head coach Dan Doeren came to the party a bit late, but he didn’t need to do too much for a team already loaded up with young prospects. Doeren and his staff will have to do far more with his next class, but this one has a few decent players here and there like pounding JUCO transfer Jamal Womble, who should be a part of the rotation right away. Big offensive tackle Matt Killian will be an all-star sooner than later.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 114. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive backs.
The one area that didn't need an instant impact was
the offensive backfield, yet two of the key players
were QB Casey Weston and RB Jasmin Hopkins to
upgrade the talent level. However, Jerry Kill loaded
up mostly on defensive backs bringing in Demetrius
Stone from the JUCO ranks and DeChane Durante to be
a part of the safety rotation. Akeem Daniels isn't a
big corner, but he can fly.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 91. That Class Was
Heavy On ... The passing game. Head coach Jerry Kill got a full recruiting season to work, and he brought in some playmakers to beef up a passing attack that struggled last year. Quarterbacks A.J. Hill and Jordan Lynch are strong prospects, and while there aren’t any receiver standouts, there are a lot of them and they can move.